For those of you who have read my blogs before, you know that my recent pageant experiences (recent meaning pre-COVID) have been a bit of a bumpy ride. It's been a rollercoaster of sorts: One day, I found myself at the top- earning first runner up at Miss Michigan at what was only my second time competing for the state title- and the next, I found myself anxious and confused as the next pageant season came and went, and I was unable to even win a local title.
There was so much questioning. SOOO much questioning. After doing so well at Miss Michigan, I felt so confident that I was exactly where God wanted me to be, and that as long as I kept working hard, the success would keep on rollin' in. Apparently, God had other plans. I felt like I had whiplash trying to keep up with where He was taking me.
After all of this took place, I was more than excited for the next pageant season to start. I figured I'd work harder than ever, jump right back in the next season, and win another title... however, thanks to the COVID pandemic, that entire pageant season didn't happen either.
So I found myself thrown into the middle of a huge identity crisis. Us pageant girls don't always admit it, but sometimes, this whole pageant thing can become far too big a part of our identity and self-worth. So was the case with me. Not only that, but I also graduated from college in April 2020, so to add to the identity crisis, I was now learning how to be something other than a student for the first time in 18 years.
But I'm not one to stay down and out. Even the darkest and most disappointing situations can teach us something, and staying in a never-ending pity party has never been my style. Don't get me wrong, I took my time to grieve my pageant losses, to be confused, to cry in the McDonald's drive through, to eat a ridiculous amount of Little Debbie cakes (I wouldn't recommend this coping mechanism, but hey, you do what you gotta do).
But once that phase was done, I realized that I could continue to sit around and be all 'woe is me' forever, or I could make the best of this sucky situation and see what areas of my life I could continue to learn and grow in. If I'm going to have this weird chapter of life where I have no local title in the Miss America Organization, and I just happen to not be able to compete until at least 2021 due to COVID, but some other pageant organizations are still holding their competitions... why not make the most of my time and give something else a go?
That's right, ladies.
I'm happy to announce that I'll be competing in Miss Michigan USA in May 2021!
First and foremost, for those of you who aren't as familiar with the differences between the Miss America Organization, which is what I've been competing in for 7 years, and the Miss USA/Universe Organization, I wrote a blog just for you!
I am excited for this new opportunity for so, so many reasons. I am excited to get up on stage in a swimsuit again (something I never thought I would say). I'm excited to simply try something new after seven years competing in Miss America. I'm excited to learn and grow in different ways, to continue to push my comfort zone, and to be back on stage.
There's no denying that this season of life has been challenging for everybody (2020 truly can't end soon enough), but I've decided that things are only as crappy as you let it be.
For now, I'll be watching every Miss USA competition from the last four years and taking many, many notes.